Watford 1 Newcastle 1 – 35 shots, end to end game and an Aussie rules referee
Watford 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 25 September 3pm
Well, I’m not too sure about the quality, but this was certainly an entertaining match.
Whilst for certain periods Newcastle looked at times a fluid attacking outfit (apart from the finishing), by the same token NUFC were so so open, Watford able to drive the proverbial bus up the middle of the pitch with minimal, if any, opposition.
I think really, taking everything overall, the bottom line is that Watford are a pretty poor team who were there for the taking, yet it was a game that Newcastle United almost threw away totally.
It was a rough old game at times and whilst the Aussie (rules!) referee handed out seven yellow cards, it could and should have been even more, with possibly a couple of reds thrown in as well.
Really poor ‘challenges’ from Kucka on Almiron in the first half and Sean Longstaff in the second went somehow without a card been shown. I think this first ever Aussie referee in the Premier League will have to step up his game to avoid a swift red card himself, if this had been the ‘important’ clubs playing today, he would find his performance under far more scrutiny. Of course that is why they try them out on the likes of Newcastle and Watford first. An already booked Manquillo could also have got a second yellow and a red card when stupidly kicking the ball away late on.
Darlow needed to make an early save from Emmanuel Dennis after only two minutes and initially it looked as though the home side would control the opening exchanges.
However, Newcastle then came more into it and forced a number of corners.
On 15 minutes Federico Fernández saw a header from the centre of the box saved in the top right corner, having only a minute earlier had another header blocked.
Sean Longstaff blazed high and wide from outside the box, though that proved only a sighter, as on 23 minutes he hit another from outside the box into the top corner, although it looked as though Foster possibly got a hand to it and should have done better. I will be interested to see what the replays show.
The goal was followed by some decent play at times from both teams in terms of willingness to get forward and Ismaila Sarr saw a 32nd minute right footed shot from outside the box saved in the bottom left corner by Darlow.
The half coming to an end with Ciaran Clark putting a close in header over the bar, before then Joseph Willock went close with a shot.
However, it was then Watford’s turn, Ozan Tufan shooting over the bar just before the half time whistle.
Watford came out looking a better and more determined team and Emmanuel Dennis saw a right foot shot from the left side of the box blocked, before a couple of off target efforts from Josh King
Emmanuel Dennis with a header missing to the right but then suddenly Newcastle came back into the game after the hour mark.
Ben Foster saving from Miguel Almiron and Joelinton
ASM playing in Willock but excellent Foster save, though the former Arsenal player should have done better.
There was then a brilliant Almiron control of a long ball and then a flowing turn, Cathcart booked with a desperate challenge to stop him. Then Willock fired over from just over 20 yards out.
Surprise surprise, just when Newcastle looked to have taken control, a corner from the left saw a totally unmarked Sarr score a header from six yards out. Desperate defending.
The final 20 minutes or so then saw a ridiculously open game and a better team would have punished both Newcastle and Watford.
Clark headed wide from six yards out, beating Rose in the air, but then absolute disaster.
Moussa Sissoko given far too much time in the 87th minute, shooting from the edge of the box, Darlow only able to parry and King tapping in the rebound. Only for VAR to save the day, Josh King just offside as Sissoko struck it.
Still it went end to end and Murphy should have scored when sent through one on one deep in injury time but attempted a quite ridiculous scooped finish, maybe trying to repeat his finish at the Etihad a few years ago. Instead he totally failed this time when he could have just stroked the ball past the keeper.
Watford straight away up the other end in the final seconds when a left wing cross just eluded their attacking player who would have had a free header never very far out.
Watford will be in the bottom three or four clubs in the final table and the big question now is whether or not Newcastle United can prove themselves better than the same.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Watford 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 25 September 3pm
Sean Longstaff 23
(In brackets the first half stats)
Possession was Watford 52% (50%) Newcastle 48% (50%)
Total shots were Watford 15 (6) Newcastle 20 (11)
Shots on target were Watford 4 (2) Newcastle 6 (2)
Corners were Watford 5 (2) Newcastle 6 (5)
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Hayden, Almiron (Murphy 79), Willock (Gayle 83), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton
Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Fraser, Anderson
20,650 (2,200 Newcastle)
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